Just as reference, when pilots or ground control refer to the number of passengers as "souls" it means they are probably praying to God they get them down in one piece because they may not think they can do it on their own.
Actually, it's a pretty common non-emergency term. The flight plan forms say "persons on board" now days, but used to say "Souls on Board" for every flight, the idea to prevent confusion with the number of passengers vs. crew. When filing flight plans, some of the older briefers still ask for "souls." I think the fact that it is fewer syllabus and easier to say helps it stick in the aviation vernacular.
I'm not saying whether or not they were concerned about survivability or if religion was invoked on the flight deck or not - just that the term is routine, not exceptional. Vertical control failures like that are serious bad news, especially if control becomes variable or random. Thank fully, they are rare.
In my emergency (every pilot has at least one story to tell) it was mostly a liberal use of the word "fuck." :) In retrospect, "I am a leaf on the wind, watch how I soar," would have been a lot cooler... :)